Loreto Mexico Hotels: Skip the resorts and stay in town
The number one thing you need to know about Loreto hotels is that no matter what they claim they are not ALL in Loreto. Many of the larger resorts are actually a 20-45 minute drive from town, which means you will be stuck if you don’t have a rental car, and pay a premium price on food. Don’t make that mistake. Stay in one of the local spots in town. The food is phenomenal, lodging is cheaper, sometimes half what you would pay at a resort farther out, and you will have a more authentic experience. Rubbing shoulders with the locals and expats who have made this little slice of Baja their home is never a bad thing.
La Damiana Inn
Step into Debora and Gerardo’s little slice of paradise. It may not look like much but this became our home for 4 of the 7 nights we were in Loreto. Up until our last morning we were begging Debora to kick someone out so we could stay for our entire trip. It had turned into our home. Dek adopted their dog. Gerardo adopted Dek and become his very own “tito” or uncle. They watched old Spanish cartoons together every afternoon while I got the baby down for a nap. Debora was an invaluable source of information for the area. She encouraged us to skip tours when we could easily do it on our own in the car, or to hop on a boat with a tour company when it made more sense. Every night we looked forward to coming back to tell them all about our adventures.
Our room was on the second floor, and was technically a 2-bedroom with a sitting area. A door locked between the bedrooms and sitting area, so we didn’t leave much out there. Honestly we really didn’t have to worry. No one but the housekeeper and us ever went up, and the main doors of the inn were locked each night. Our 2-bedrooms had a door frame, but no door separating them. Since I was traveling with a girlfriend and her daughter this wasn’t a big deal. If it had been my husband and I with the boys it would have been just as good. There is a little casita in the back with a kitchen and separate bedroom that would be even better for a family. It isn’t connected to the main inn so you wouldn’t have to worry about a crying baby as much.
The inn also boasts a communal living room and outdoor covered kitchen. The kitchen became the social gathering place each night for the guests. We shared stories, wine, and even homemade guacamole that Gerardo taught one group how to make after they returned from the market with all of the ingredients.
There is no pool at this inn, which may be a problem for some families, especially in the hotter months. Although a pool would have been nice, it wasn’t necessary for us. Our March travels were not sweltering. We were so busy during the day we wouldn’t have had much time to swim either.
Will I return to La Damiana? Yes. A thousand times yes. I’m already plotting how to get back to my Mexican home away from home.
For our last 3 nights we had to switch to a different hotel. We loved La Damiana, but apparently so did everyone else. Debora only had our first few days available. At first we were booked at a fancy resort, but when we saw how far it was from town we started looking more locally for an alternative. Debora called around and found us a spot at Coco Cabanas, a nice hotel about an 8-minute walk from town.
We stayed in the “Shack in the Back.” Yes, that was the name. It was the only space Steve, the owner, had available for us. It was not directly connected to the rest of the guest cabanas, but this 2-bedroom, 1-bath with full kitchen and living room was perfect for our little group. We even had bedroom doors that closed! My friend’s 13-year-old daughter and Dek loved the pool. Sadly Ty was not allowed in. “No babies allowed in the pool” was a hotel policy. He didn’t mind hanging out with me in a lounge chair and watching the action though.
For around $100 a night (total, for all of us) this was a great spot to call home for a few days. It did not have the personality or home-like atmosphere that La Damiana Inn had, but it was a great spot to hang our hats as we continued our explorations of the area. One great feature of this hotel is that Steve’s wife is a licensed massage therapist and offers massages on site for a very reasonable price (under $50 I believe). I could not indulge thanks to a horrible sunburn I got while out on a boat. She does take appointments from guests at other hotels, so be sure to check her out and let me know what you think.
Las Cabanas de Loreto also came highly recommended. I tried to get a cabana there during our stay but they were booked solid with no cancellations in sight. The rooms look adorable and would be a great match for any family traveling together. An added bonus is the pool.